When living in the present it's sometimes difficult to reflect on how things were done in the past. I've heard stories about adults running out of theaters when they watched The Exorcist. I heard about people fainting when The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was played. There were children and adults alike sleeping with one eye open and praying that morning would come so they don’t have to be afraid anymore.
With time, these stories faded into legend and began to soak into our own present lives. If we were the same people that our parents or grandparents were then horror classics would terrify us also, but there are many films from the past that just don’t scare us like they did for our ancestors. Sadly I think that The Fog is a perfect case of a movie being scary in the past, but not so much in the present.
The movie is set in a California fishing town known as Antonio Bay. This city is celebrating its centennial and has a rich history involving greed, death and deceit. As the centennial approaches, weird things begin to happen and a fog begins to creep into the town. Naturally inside this fog is sickly ghosts who kill and it's up to the radio DJ (Adrienne Barbeau), the hitchhiker (Jamie Lee Curtis), the priest (Hal Holbrook) and many others to figure out a way to survive. The cast is loaded with stars and the director (John Carpenter) was just coming off his sensational hit, Halloween. When you have such professionals creating the movie you would think that nothing could go wrong.
When it comes to production The Fog is well made and holds up over time. This is not to say this film is a brilliant example of effects, but it is rather an example of less is more. Rarely do the viewers see the ghosts and there are no flashy moments where sophisticated effects are needed. The fog itself isn’t something that requires a lot of intelligence to create. Furthermore the acting is well done and everything is believable. There aren’t any stupid characters in the movie that make you scream at the television. Besides all of these good traits the rest of the film is a shell of what a horror movie should be.
As stated earlier this movie isn’t scary. Obviously horror is subjective and what terrifies others may not terrify you. With that being said there is little screen time for the ghosts and the only thing that could potentially be seen as scary is the slow creep of the fog that results in doom. There are a couple pop-out scary moments, but they are few and far between. This movie also doesn’t stick with you past the ending scene. No nightmares or sleepless nights are to be had by watching this film.
Interestingly enough this movie begins with a group of kids listening to ghost stories around a campfire. This is the perfect example of what this movie is. It is perfect for introductory horror fans who don’t want anything too intense. It's a moviemeant to bring you back to when you were a kid, praying there weren’t any ghosts in your closet or under the bed. For me this isn’t enough to transcend time. Now that we'e all older we need something more to frighten us. If you want a classic horror that shows you great production and embodies what many ghost movies are, then this film is probably great for you. If you want a horror movie or specifically a ghost movie that will scare you, then there are many other films that would be a better pick.
Horror island is receiving ghosts we don’t know much about. While we know why they are there we don’t know what they can do or how much they can frighten. From what we have seen on horror island I believe these ghosts will fit in, but they will not necessarily save horror. These ghosts might have been scary in the past, but now they are just a shadow of what they use to be. It appears that even the creatures on horror island can age.
If you liked The Fog, you might also like The Woman in Black and The Changeling.